The core mission of TechLatino is to ensure that the U.S. Latino community has a seat at the table for present and future generations to come. Latinos use wireless as our primary means of communication compared to other technologies and ethnic communities.
It is for this reason that we have championed reforms aimed at hastening the improvement of the wireless networks that our community relies on. This is also why it makes sense that the very first Latina U.S. Senator, Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), has become a champion of the wireless innovation that benefits the U.S. Latino community she hails from.
Our quickly growing population is tied to the expansion of wireless technologies. And the wireless industry is an important industry for all communities, particularly Latinos, as wireless contributes $475 billion annually to America’s economy and supports 4.7 million jobs.
The United States led the world in 4G wireless. U.S. leadership in 4G brought with it economic and job growth for its people—in fact, building 4G networks boosted wireless-related jobs by 84 percent! Given our outsized use of mobile services, this 4G win was a win for Latinos as well.
5G, the next generation of wireless, is the new frontier. 5G is slated to offer higher speeds, reduce latency, and expand real-world applications for our community’s favored technology. Latinos are the fastest-growing population in the United States, and wireless enhancements offer expanded job opportunities and access to broadband internet right from our mobile devices. 5G will mean even more opportunities for our community.
But here’s the rub. A new report finds China and South Korea are slightly ahead of the U.S. in terms of 5G readiness. Countries like China and South Korea angling to win the 5G race would siphon off opportunities and expanded access that would otherwise come here to the United States. 5G is projected to create 3 million new jobs in America. So for growing communities like Latinos, loss of leadership in next-generation 5G would drain us of opportunities waiting in the wings.
The United States is our home and we are invested in its success. U.S. Latinos are active participants in our country and our population growth means that our needs will only increase. There are significant downsides when countries are unable to maintain leadership as wireless generations evolve. For example, Europe lost tens of thousands of jobs when they fell behind in 3G. Two wireless generations later, Europe is not even among the first tier of regions ready to lead on 5G.
These potential consequences for us means that we fully support efforts to enhance networks across the country. The simple math here is that a growing population reliant on wireless, like Latinos, means that more devices will need to be supported on the networks. As the networks become more and more strained, we are looking to those who can address our needs.
Policymakers and regulators must carry on with efforts to free up airwaves and make it easier to deploy the wireless infrastructure that power wireless networks. Industry must continue to conduct testing trials to hasten the development of next-generation wireless.
TechLatino’s mission is to empower Latino communities. A U.S. loss in the 5G race would result in a world of missed opportunities for a vulnerable but resilient community like ours. Under no circumstances do Latinos want to be held back. Accordingly, we support all efforts to ensure wireless network improvement efforts help make 5G a reality.
About TechLatino: The Latinos in Information Sciences and Technology Association (LISTA). www.techlatino.org
Through its network of 15 affiliated community-based councils, association and partnerships with non-profit organizations, LISTA advocates on behalf of the millions of Latinos in 50 states and the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, South America and Spain.
To achieve its mission, to educate, motivate and empower, LISTA conducts workshops and seminars, national business series, research, policy analysis, and technology awareness programs in order to provide a Latino perspective in many key areas in technology — development of the 21st century workforce, coding, health information technology, STEAM education, employment/economic status, business development cell and broadband.
In addition, it provides workshops and training to technology professionals and students in health it, big data and other technology opportunities for individuals small businesses and families. Helping Close the digital divide and giving opportunity to all.